Highest Rated Restaurants in South Africa

Highest Rated Restaurants in South Africa
Restaurants in South Africa

In South Africa, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to delicious culinary options. There is a wide range of restaurants starting from local Shisa Nyama to classic Italian, Pub-Grub to authentic Chinese.

Highest Rated Restaurants in South Africa

With such a wide variety of options around, it is worth noting those restaurants that have managed to stand out amongst the rest and have earned international accolades for their outstanding menus and atmospheres.

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The Shortmarket Club

The Shortmarket Club is a restaurant started by Luke Dale-Roberts, an award-winning and one of the world’s top chefs. This is his fourth restaurant in a row – where Wesley Randles is at the helm. He made his debut on the Top 10 thanks to its bold food that makes the ingredients the core of the show.

This restaurant is known for its flavours which are exciting and bold are the result of using the best ingredients to the maximum.

See dished-like grass-fed beef tartare with frozen parmesan and celeriac dashi; ‘The Pasta Dish’ with unctuous oxtail ragù, fennel three ways and burnt butter; and an earthy vegetarian roasted artichoke with hazelnut, aged balsamic and labneh.

Find delicate desserts that range from lavender-and-mozzarella crème brûlée to the indulgent 80% Valrhona chocolate fondant.


La Colombe – Constantia Cape Town

French-infused contemporary cuisine stars in this vineyard restaurant. Being voted in the top 100 restaurants in the world – La Colombe guarantees its patrons the ultimate dining experience.

La Colombe in Constantia was awarded Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant of the Year, having attained the highest score of any restaurant in the country. The judges said: “La Colombe is an institution on South Africa’s fine-dining scene. 

The delicate and inventive set courses paired with the unbeatable views of Constantia vineyards make this restaurant a real gem to any visitor. Although once again on the pricier side, diners have remarked how they feel they received value for money with food that is out of this world.

Owner Scot Kirton ensures each meal is plated delicately while bursting with flavour. Diners can also enjoy certain dishes being finished off at their table in some seriously creative ways.

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Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient – Elandsfontein Pretoria

Chef Chantel Dartnell creates unforgettable edible works of art with her plating, layering and texturing. Being named chef of the year, you can be assured each meal out of her kitchen will be of the highest standard and taste.

Mosaic at The Orient, located in Pretoria, is known for its fine dining and contemporary fusion cuisine. The restaurant is part of The Orient Boutique Hotel.

Each meal takes the diner on a fun flavourful journey.

Try out the Irish Scallop maritime broth and pickled radishes – finished at the table with lemongrass and seaweed broth.

Art nouveau décor and food that takes patrons on a gastronomy journey ensure that the Restaurant Mosaic does not disappoint.

Other top highest rated restaurants in South Africa

La Colombe
La Colombe photo by Lauren Mulligan

1. Wolfgat (Paternoster)

  • Wolfgat, located in the small coastal town of Paternoster, gained international acclaim for its focus on local and sustainable ingredients. It received the title of “Restaurant of the Year” at the World Restaurant Awards.

2. The Pot Luck Club (Cape Town)

  • Situated in the Old Biscuit Mill, The Pot Luck Club, led by Chef Luke Dale-Roberts, offers a trendy and tapas-style dining experience with panoramic views of Cape Town.

3. Chefs Warehouse & Canteen (Cape Town)

  • Chefs Warehouse & Canteen is celebrated for its tapas-style dining and focus on fresh, local ingredients. It’s located on Bree Street in Cape Town.

4. Luke Dale-Roberts X The Saxon (Johannesburg)

  • This collaboration between Luke Dale-Roberts and The Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg offers a luxurious dining experience with a menu reflecting Dale-Roberts’ innovative style.

5. Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort (Constantia, Cape Town)

  • Greenhouse is known for its creative and contemporary approach to South African cuisine. It’s located in the beautiful Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in Constantia.

6. FYN Restaurant (Cape Town)

  • FYN, led by Chef Peter Tempelhoff, offers a modern Japanese-inspired dining experience in Cape Town. The restaurant has received acclaim for its culinary innovation.

How are restaurants in South Africa Rated

Restaurant Mosiac
Restaurant Mosaic

Restaurants in South Africa, as in many other parts of the world, are typically rated based on a combination of factors that assess the overall dining experience. Here are some common criteria used to rate restaurants in South Africa:

  1. Culinary Excellence:
    • The quality of the food is a primary factor in restaurant ratings. Reviewers and rating organizations assess the creativity, flavor, presentation, and consistency of dishes.
  2. Service:
    • The level of service provided by restaurant staff is a crucial element in determining ratings. Factors such as attentiveness, knowledge of the menu, and overall hospitality contribute to a positive dining experience.
  3. Ambiance and Atmosphere:
    • The ambiance and atmosphere of a restaurant play a significant role in its rating. This includes factors such as interior design, lighting, music, and overall comfort.
  4. Innovation and Originality:
    • Restaurants that demonstrate innovation in their menus, culinary techniques, and overall concept often receive higher ratings. Unique and creative approaches to cuisine can set a restaurant apart.
  5. Use of Local and Seasonal Ingredients:
    • A commitment to using fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients is often valued in restaurant ratings. Sustainability and support for local producers can contribute positively to a restaurant’s reputation.
  6. Wine and Beverage Program:
    • For restaurants that offer alcoholic beverages, the quality and diversity of the wine and beverage selection may be considered in the overall rating.
  7. Consistency:
    • Consistency in delivering a high-quality experience across multiple visits is an essential factor. Restaurants that maintain a consistent standard over time are likely to receive favorable ratings.
  8. Online Reviews and Customer Feedback:
    • Customer reviews on online platforms, such as review websites and social media, can significantly impact a restaurant’s reputation. Positive reviews may contribute to higher ratings.
  9. Awards and Recognitions:
    • Restaurants that receive industry awards or recognitions from prestigious culinary organizations often achieve higher ratings. These accolades highlight excellence in specific categories, such as cuisine, service, or overall experience.
  10. Value for Money:
    • The perceived value for money is considered, taking into account factors such as portion sizes, pricing, and the overall value of the dining experience in relation to the cost.
  11. Hygiene and Cleanliness:
    • The cleanliness and hygiene of the restaurant, including the kitchen and dining areas, contribute to a positive rating. Compliance with health and safety standards is crucial.

Restaurants in South Africa may be rated by professional food critics, culinary awards organizations, and online platforms where customers share their experiences. It’s common for these ratings to be expressed on a numerical scale or through accolades such as stars or rankings.


In conclusion, South Africa boasts a vibrant culinary scene with a multitude of exceptional restaurants that have earned high praise from both local and international patrons. The diversity of cuisines, innovative culinary techniques, and a focus on local and sustainable ingredients contribute to the country’s reputation as a culinary destination.

Whether it’s the avant-garde creations at The Test Kitchen, the coastal flavors of Wolfgat, or the fine dining experiences in iconic venues like La Colombe, these highest-rated restaurants showcase the wealth of talent and creativity within South Africa’s culinary landscape.


Q1. How are restaurants in South Africa rated?

Restaurants in South Africa are typically rated based on factors such as culinary excellence, service quality, ambiance, innovation, use of local ingredients, consistency, online reviews, awards, and value for money.

Q2. Who rates the restaurants in South Africa?

Restaurants can be rated by various entities, including professional food critics, culinary awards organizations, and online platforms. Ratings may also be influenced by customer reviews and feedback.

Q3. Do customer reviews play a significant role in restaurant ratings?

Yes, customer reviews on online platforms and social media can have a significant impact on a restaurant’s reputation and overall rating. Positive customer feedback is often valued.

Q4. Do highly rated restaurants receive international recognition?

Yes, some of the highest-rated restaurants in South Africa receive international recognition through global culinary awards and rankings. This exposure can contribute to their reputation on a global scale.

Q5. Are there specific regions in South Africa known for high-rated restaurants?

High rated restaurants can be found across South Africa, but certain regions, such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, are renowned for their vibrant culinary scenes and concentration of acclaimed establishments.

About the author

Rebecca Brown